Yesterday our local phone company sent out installers to set up us with their TV over IP package. The installers were great and did a nice job setting up the service. They even gave us helpful advice regarding our initial plan to have two DVRs and three receivers. They advised against moving forward with that setup suggesting that the only thing we would lose by going with just one DVR would be live pause and rewind. The downside of multiple DVRs would be the large bandwidth drain it could potential create along with some potential recording conflicts. I was fine with their suggestion and in addition it would save us an additional $11.00 per month.
What I had not fully anticipated, even though I should have, was the possibility that having IP TV with so many TVs might have the potential for bankrupting my internet service. We currently have 30 Mpbs and when more than two TVs are watching HD streams, the bandwidth can really drop. The good news is that aside from my father-in-law, most everyone else watches “time-shifted” TV shows. The bad news is that there are a number of shows being streamed to disk throughout the evening. I wish that we were getting 50Mbps or higher service as I believe that would ease the congestion a great deal. I spoke with one of the techs would did the installation and found out that there is a slight possibility of LDSL coming in the future. My problem however is the distance of my house to the CO is greater than 3000 ft.
So far, I really like the service. The receivers and the DVR are both really small and compact. The remotes are not too bad – except the print on them is ultra small. With the exception of one TCL TV in our bedroom, the techs were able to program all of the remotes to handle all TV and soundbar functions with one remote – great news for my wife’s parents! Even the one TCL TV exception was rectified when I followed the online instructions for the remote to use its built-in learning capabilities to add the TV’s native remote functions to the STB remote.
We are in a “trial period” to see if the service is compatible with our “lifestyle”. I really hope so because the service is good, the price is right, and the local phone company is very responsive to work with. Stay tuned! (no pun intended)